Monday, December 5, 2016

The Wrong Side of Magic by Janette Rallison

The Wrong Side of Magic

Author: Janette Rallison

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Published: August 2016

ISBN13: 9781250074287

Hardcover: 336 pages

FTC FYI: I received a complimentary PDF from the author, all views and opinons expressed are my own.

Goodreads Summary:

The Phantom Tollbooth gets a modern-day spin in this magical middle grade fantasy filled with adventure and humor that will whisk readers away!

Hudson Brown stopped believing in magic long ago. That is, until the day he is whisked away to the magical land of Logos by a curious compass given to him by his off-beat neighbor, Charlotte.

Hudson discovers that Logos is a land ruled by words, thoughts, and memories. A fairy might ferry you across the river for the price of one memory. But be sure to look out for snarky unicorns, as they will see through those who are not pure of heart.

Not understanding the many rules of Logos, Hudson is quickly saddled with a troll curse. Charlotte, who, along with her father, was banished from Logos, can help get rid of the curse--but only if he agrees to find the lost Princess of Logos in return.

My Review

Janette Rallison is one of my favorite authors, her book are always amazing.  I was thrilled to review her middle grade book, The Wrong Side of Magic.  This book is so clever.  The clever ways Charlotte was able to disguise them in Logos, how they were able to sail to the Cliffs of Faces, the use of candied hearts, riding unicorns, so many fun and creative adventures.  I loved the play on words and humor.  There were so many events that made me smile and laugh out loud.  Hudson was a great character, and I adored Charlotte.  I loved their adventure and the things they learned along the way.  Hudson and Charlotte both realize some pretty great things.  There isn't much else I can say without giving away the book, but know you are in for a fantastic adventure.  

5 out of 5 stars.  This book can be enjoyed by boys, girls and their parents.  The ending is especially awesome.

Author Links

Website / Twitter

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Love For All Season by Stacy Henrie -- Grand Finale

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Love for All Seasons
By Stacy Henrie

Love is something that is perfect for every season of the year. We hope you enjoyed finding out more about this newest novella collection set during each of the four seasons. If you missed any of the excerpts or review, go back and check them out now...

Launch - Note from the Author

In these four novellas - one for each season of the year - you'll meet four couples who overcome a myriad of obstacles to love with faith and determination. Each story takes place in a different time period and setting, one that I felt really showcased that particular season.


"I love this author's writing style and loved how well the novellas came together into stories that felt complete. For as much as I complain about certain seasons (namely winter because I hate being freezing cold all of the time...and maybe autumn because right now, I'm pretty tired of raking leaves), I LOVE having seasons. There are things that I love about each and every one and having a sweet story set in each season is truly magical."

Heidi Reads... - Review

"Love for All Seasons was a perfect reading experience! . . . It was too hard to pick a favorite from the four stories set in each of the four seasons, so I recommend reading them all and deciding for yourself ;) Can't wait to read more from this author!"


"I enjoyed each novella very much and won’t even try to pick a favorite. Love for All Seasons is filled with sweet, touching stories – perfect for any time of the year when you’re looking for a satisfying shorter read."

Bookworm Lisa - Review

"I loved this anthology! The stories are short and super sweet. I loved all of the characters and wanted to see their romances bloom. The book has a romance for each season of the year."


"If you are looking for some sweet historical romances, set in different eras, tied together with a similar inspirational thread, look no further than Love For All Seasons by Stacy Henrie. It’s a collection that easily be read in one sitting, but you’ll also find yourself wanting to savor each story, reluctant to leave the characters behind. An excellent set of novellas, all four strong and each one unique."


Samantha knew the voice without turning. It was Rex. Her best friend. Her longtime neighbor. And the boy she’d bested as many times as she’d lost to during their shared years at the one-room schoolhouse up the road. Their competitive dares hadn’t ended, either, when Rex, two years her senior, had graduated. Though Samantha had enjoyed being the shining star of the classroom for those two years.


If he stayed here long enough, maybe Mr. Whitefield would give up the idea of Rex accompanying Samantha, in this too-small sleigh, for the evening.

Not that he didn’t want to help deliver the gifts—he hated to see the older man’s traditional
Christmas Eve activity halted by illness, and Rex agreed that Samantha shouldn’t go out alone.
But tonight’s outing would make keeping his promise to stay away from Samantha impossible.

Wishful Endings - Excerpt

Tempest leapt up to find the hammer sitting innocently on top of the ledger at the far end of the counter. “Aha.” She lifted the tool off the account book and brandished it in the air in triumph. She’d remembered after all.

“Do you greet all of your customers as if you mean to bash them over the head?”


"As always, Henrie delivers lovely and wonderful stories that readers will absolutely love. I would recommend this magnificent novella collection to readers that enjoy Henrie’s previous work, as well as are fans of historical romance stories."


Bram charged into the street, heedless of the traffic, his bag of unneeded nails gripped inside his hand. He hadn’t expected his competition to be a woman. And certainly not one as passionate and pretty as Tempest Blakely. When she’d leapt up from behind the counter, brandishing that hammer like some fierce Roman goddess, he quite forgot his purpose in entering the store in the first place.

Mel's Shelves - Review

"Even though the stories are short, they feel complete. The characters and situations are so different and I enjoyed each one of them. I loved how faith and belief in God played an important role in each of their stories. This is the type of book you can enjoy in bits and pieces or all at once. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading clean, historical romance!"

Bookworm Nation - Excerpt

After gathering up the bundle of towels and clean linens to deliver to the next room, Loralee slipped out the door—only to crash into a firm chest clad in a damp bathing shirt. A hand clasped her elbow to keep her from joining the towels and sheets that had spilled onto the carpet.

Don't forget to enter the awesome giveaway below as well...

Love for All Seasons: Four Inspirational Historical Romance NovellasLove for All Seasons
(Four Inspirational Historical Romance Novellas)
Inspirational Historical Romance
ebook, 164 pages
November 9th 2016

If you like the inspirational historical romances of Deanne Gist and Lauraine Snelling, you’ll love USA Today bestselling author Stacy Henrie! With four novellas—one for each season of the year—you’ll find a heartwarming collection of couples from a simpler time in America who discover the redeeming powers of faith and love.

A Long Winter Kiss

As Samantha and Rex’s childhood friendship matured into young love, they promised their hearts to one another, even as Rex headed off to war. But their hope for a bright future was shattered when Rex succumbed to his belief that the horrors of war had made him a man no woman could love. Now he has returned, and Samantha must help Rex see that he still has much to give—and much more to gain—by replacing fear with faith and opening himself to love.

An Unlikely Spring Courtship

Tempest worked hard to secure her independence as a woman running her own mercantile, so when Bram has the audacity to open a competing shop in a town with only enough room for one, Tempest is driven to despair. And then to retaliation. But when tragedy strikes their community and threatens everything they both hold dear, will they be able to recognize that what they share is far more important than what separates them?

A Summer for Love

Loralee’s life has changed dramatically in the eight years since she’s last seen the resort town of Bayocean, but one thing that has never changed is her feelings for Wyatt, a man she promised to meet at the resort on a specific day if they were both still unattached. When Wyatt appears on that date, as hopeful and uncertain as Loralee, the two must see if an old and abiding love has outlasted the changes wrought by time—and begin to build a new life together.

Romance in Autumn

Phoebe and James grew up together but apart in the same beautiful mansion, he as the son of the owners, she as the daughter of a servant. In the years since, Phoebe’s fortunes have changed dramatically, and she carries the dream of one day owning the mansion that is still close to her heart. Until James—now a deeply compelling man—delivers the bad news that securing the purchase will be all but impossible. As Phoebe reluctantly relinquishes her dream, she will also look deep into her soul to learn that a true home might exist in her budding love for James.



USA Today bestselling author Stacy Henrie is the author of western romances and the Of Love and War series, which includes Hope at Dawn, a 2015 RITA Award finalist for excellence in romance. She was born and raised in the West, where she currently resides with her family. She enjoys reading, road trips, interior decorating, chocolate, and most of all, laughing with her husband and kids. You can learn more about Stacy and her books by visiting her website at stacyhenrie.com.


Tour Giveaway

$40 Amazon eGift Card and Winner's Choice of an ebook of Any of Stacy Henrie's Books (you can see her books listed on Amazon here)
Open internationally
Ends December 8th

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

My Father's House by Rose Chandler Johnson -- Grand Finale Blitz

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for
My Father's House
By Rose Chandler Johnson

Suspense and romance mix in this inspiring story. We hope you enjoyed the tour!
If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out now...

Launch - The Inspiration for My Father's House

The setting needed to play a critical part in the story as well. So, with my roots firmly planted in Georgia, I modeled my fictional town after so many small Southern towns, and I set in some of my love of nature. Being a Southerner, I had definite ideas about elements I needed for this story to come alive. Besides fascinating characters and a distinctive setting, there had to be a little crazy, eccentric, and some downright meanness, mixed with suspense, romance, and lots of southern charm. And if the story makes you long for dirt roads and blackberry picking, shade trees and front porch visiting, then I’ve done my job.

The Silver Dagger Scriptorium - A Sketch of Lily Rose’s Father, Michael Cates

Lily Rose’s relationship with her father sets the stage for her life and the story, My Father’s House. Although the reader gets only glimpses of her “Daddy”, they are telling glimpses which reveal who he is. Michael Cates takes the dominant role in his daughter’s early life and development. In that brief first chapter, the reader learns he takes particular pride and joy in his wife and daughter.



Wishful Endings - Excerpt

I followed him out onto the porch and watched him walk to the truck, stop, and turn. He fixed his gaze on me, and I knew he didn’t want to leave. I smiled then, and he nodded before getting in and backing down the driveway. He waved, and something about his smile and the gentle blue of the sky strengthened my heart. I watched him disappear down the street before I turned and walked back inside.

Falling Leaves - Excerpt

Something about his presence excited me. Maybe it was the way he lingered beside me and caressed me with his eyes. It was hard for me not to stare at his smooth olive hands as they moved back and forth around our table.

I suppose I got caught up in the moment because without thinking, I asked, “Would you take our picture?” I held the camera out at arm’s length to the dreamy eyed waiter. I smiled before saying “please” as sweet as pie.



Rockin' Book Reviews - Review

"What an excellent story! I really enjoyed reading it. . . . It was a good clean story with lots of action and suspense. I would recommend this book to all readers."

Tell Tale Book Reviews - Character Sketch of Lily Rose Cates

This dark-haired, green-eyed, slip of a girl is the protagonist of My Father’s House and the emotional heart of the story. The reader is drawn into her story that pulses with life, and can’t help feeling her joys, fears, and hopes. The development of Lily Rose’s character is central to the novel. As a child, she was nurtured and sheltered from the harsher realities of life. Innocent, good-hearted, with no experience with the evils of the world, the reader watches her struggle with her own naiveté and illusions of love.


Jessica and Gracie's Tree - The Antagonist and His Foil in My Father’s House

Sam is a foil to Manuel. Whereas Manny is controlling and harsh, Sam is soft spoken, easy-going and kind. Lily associates Manuel with cars, work, and high powered city living; whereas she constantly associates Sam with the animals, the outdoors, and community.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway below...

My Father's House
My Father's House
by Rose Chandler Johnson
Inspirational Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 314 pages
March 13th 2016

Growing up, life is idyllic for Lily Rose Cates due to her one constant – her father’s love. But in her sixteenth summer, all that changes without warning with her father’s sudden death. There begins Lily’s struggle to find herself and a life she thinks is gone forever.

Marriage to her prince charming promises fulfillment, but their happily-ever-after barely survives the honeymoon. Beneath the sophisticated façade lies a brooding man who hides dark secrets. When all Lily’s illusions of happiness shatter, she must make hard choices – abandon her husband or risk losing much more than her marriage. She flees their home in Detroit and sets out on a fearful journey to a house in Georgia that her husband knows nothing about.

In spite of heartbreak and regrets, will she find the strength to survive whatever comes? Or will her husband find her and shatter all her hopes . . . again. This is one woman’s compelling tale of love and survival as she finds her way back home to faith and who she’s meant to be . . . in her father’s house.



My Father’s House is Rose’s first novel. Her devotional journal, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments won the Georgia Author of the Year Finalist Award in 2014. It was also awarded the Selah Finalist Award in the same year. Rose enjoys writing for her blog, Write Moments with God and engaging with her readers. A native Georgian, Rose has lived in a suburb of Augusta for the last thirty years. Before retiring from Georgia’s public school system, Rose taught English, French, and ESOL. She is currently an adjunct English instructor at a community college. In addition to reading and writing, Rose enjoys cooking, sewing, gardening, and spending time with her six children and their growing families. And yes, sweet iced tea is her beverage of choice.

Tour Giveaway

Copy of MY FATHER'S HOUSE (signed print if US, ebook if outside the US) and a $20 Amazon eGift Card
Ends November 26th
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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Fablehaven Book of Imagination by Brandon Mull

Fablehaven Book of Imagination

Author: Brandon Mull

Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Published: October 2016

ISBN13: 9781629722412

Paperback: 160 pages

FTC FYI: Received a complimentary copy from the publisher, all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Goodreads Summary

Fablehaven has sold more than 3.5 million copies and readers made The Caretaker's Guide to Fablehaven, the first visual discovery and definitive guide to all the mythical creatures of Brandon Mull's wildly brilliant imagination, a bestseller in Fall 15. Now it's the READER'S turn to tap into your imagination in the very first interactive guide to Fablehaven!

Tuck this journal into your backpack, tote it along and use it as a fun activity book for all things Fablehaven and to reflect on the mythical creature metaphors found in the series.
Examples:
If you owned your own invisibility glove like Seth, how would you use it today?
Learn how to draw a dragon’s head with step-by-step instructions.
You have found the legendary Totem Wall. Choose a face to speak with. What question would you ask?
Within the pages of this book are secret codes what will help the reader discover a secret message from Brandon Mull about Dragonwatch, the sequel to Fablehaven.
Dragons can create paralyzing fear. Imagine your hands and arms were literally paralyzed from encountering a dragon, but you still needed to write a message. Use your feet or mouth to write a note on the page.
Create your own art: draw your own magical preserve. Include your home, landmarks, trees, trails, areas to avoid. Where is it located? What is it called?
Draw your family pet as if it were a guardian to a hidden, ancient artifact. What special power does your pet have to protect the treasure it is guarding?
Fans will also find coloring book pages, mazes, scavenger hunts, and instructions for origami creatues of Fablehaven characters like Raxtus!


My Review

This book is so fun!  I guess, it's more of an activity book than an actual book, but very enjoyable nonetheless.  Imagination is definitely a perfect way to describe this book.  What a great way for kids to use their imaginations while doing the crafts and activities.  There are fun crafts, coloring pages, activity pages, and thoughtful quotes throughout.  I'm excited for my daughter to dive in to all the fun on our way to Grandma's for Thanksgiving.  

Here is a fun video of Brandon Mull's daughter making the green slime from the book.

More videos will be posted as the week progresses.  Find them all on Shadow Mountain YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCex-JMU7bMUV5SbXkyrVNlQ) or on the Shadow Mountain Publishing Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ShadowMountainPublishing).

Author Links

Goodreads / Website / Twitter 

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Deseret Book

Monday, November 21, 2016

Cinnamon Moon by Tess Hilmo

Cinnamon Moon

Author: Tess Hilmo

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Published: October 2016

ISBN13: 9780374302825

Hardcover: 256 pages

FTC FYI: Received a complimentary copy from the author, all views and opinions are my own.

Goodreads Summary

On the same day as the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, 250 miles away in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, there was an even more devastating fire. Twelve-year-old Ailis and her younger brother, Quinn, survive, but their family does not. Ailis and Quinn are taken by a family acquaintance to live in a boarding house in Chicago, where they meet six-year-old Nettie, an orphan displaced by Chicago's fire. But the woman who runs the boarding house makes their lives miserable, and Ailis vows to find a way for the three of them to leave. Ailis finds a job at a millinery shop and Quinn plays his fiddle on the streets so they can save money. Then Nettie disappears, and Ailis and Quinn discover she's been kidnapped by a group that forces children to work in the sewers killing rats. Can they find a way to rescue her? 

My Review

Cinnamon Moon is another wonderful book from a talented author.  Tess writes children well, and writes wonderful lessons along with way.  I loved this book. The characters were amazing.  What I loved about them most, was how they tried to make their terrible situation better by helping themselves.  I loved Ailis.  She was smart, resourceful, and strong.  As was Quinn.  I loved how Quinn had his father's talent in playing the fiddle.  She and Quinn are put in a hard situation with Miss Franny.  Together, they wanted to have a life with each other and Nettie away from Miss Franny, and they come up with a great plan.  Then Nettie disappears, and the two stop at nothing to help her.  There are many tender moments, especially when the siblings talked about and remembered their parents and baby sister that died in the Peshtigo fire.  Ida was a complete joy.  I loved how she took Ailis under her wing. I felt the ending was beautiful.  There is nothing wrong with a happy ending that leaves you feeling good and happy you invested your time in a well-told story. Remembering also, this is a story aimed for readers 10 - 12 years old.  We all could use a little happy in our lives. 

5 out of 5 stars. 

Author Links

Twitter / Goodreads / Website

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Forgotten Carols 25th Anniversary -- Spotlight/Giveaway


Popular Musical Production ‘The Forgotten Carols’ celebrates 25th Anniversary
The Forgotten Carols, a seasonal concert favorite, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.  Michael McLean, a well-known performer, composer, songwriter, author and director staged his first one-man concert in 1991 with the hopes of it becoming a tradition families would enjoy. For those first performances McLean played all the parts to give people a sense of how families could create their own narration at home.
Over the course of the last 25 years, McLean’s modest one-man show has evolved into a huge theatrical production with over 1 million concertgoers enjoying the music that has become a time-honored Christmas tradition and attracts repeat attendance from guests of all ages. The show has been produced all over the world in limited runs, including shows in Ireland, Germany, England and even Ukraine. “One of the great things about touring is seeing the familiar faces that have been coming for years and are part of the Forgotten Carols family,” shares McLean. “New comers and longtime devoted fans of this production keep the magic of the performance alive. We embrace, giggle, and sometimes cry at these reunions.” 
The Forgotten Carols 2016 concert schedule includes performances in four states Utah, Idaho, Nevada, and Arizona. The production has arranged over 20 shows in 12 different cities and showcases an elegant arrangement of special musical choral performances and solos. McLean stars as one of the musical’s primary characters, John, an elderly gentleman who helps Constance, a young nurse who can’t be bothered with Christmas, discover a new love for the season.   
Each year, local community and student choirs are invited to perform alongside the professional Forgotten Carol company members during the concert in their cities. It’s important to McLean and the show's producers to preserve this tradition that keeps the magic alive for an enchanting experience each year.
Performance tickets are on sale now. For a complete listing of concert dates and locations or to purchase tickets visit the website at www.forgottencarols.com.


Giveaway! The winner will receive 4 free tickets. 
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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Life: The Citizens of Logan Pond by Rebecca Belliston -- Giveaway

Giveaway link at the bottom of the post!

Life: The Citizens of Logan Pond 


Publisher: Crescent Moon Press

Published: September 15th, 2014

ISBN13: 9780990627425

Paperback: 367 pages

FTC FYI: Received a PDF from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary

Her home. Her parents. Her freedom. Gone.

His dreams. His sister. Himself. Lost.

Two people.

One future.

The economy crashed, the country is floundering, and Carrie Ashworth struggles to keep her siblings alive. She has two jobs in her newly-formed, newly-outlawed clan: grow crops to feed thirty-six people, and keep Oliver Simmons, their local patrolman, happy. Carrie’s life is almost content when Greg Pierce shows up. A man with the ambition to help them survive. A man determined to hate her.

When a government raid nearly wipes out their clan, Greg realizes the true reason behind their safety. Patrolman Simmons has fallen for Carrie. Greg takes it upon himself to give the socially-awkward patrolman what he wants. Only Carrie doesn’t like Greg throwing her in Simmons's path, especially when Greg’s brusque exterior melts, and she catches a glimpse of the real man underneath. Carrie is forced to choose: follow her heart or save her clan.
Life won’t let her choose both.

My Review - Review was originally posted Sept. 2014

Carrie and her brother and sister live in their old neighborhood.  Under the protection of a kind patrolman, their clan is able to do things most people can't.  Live in their own homes, grow gardens, etc.  May and CJ's daughter and grandson come home after years of being away, Greg and Mariah.  Greg right away starts shaking things up in the clan.  Some of his ideas ruffle some feathers.  Most in the clan sees that change is good for them, but not all take it in stride.  They are getting too comfortable in the haze of Oliver's protection.  Greg realizes Oliver can't protect them forever and he tries to help the clan see that.  But, at the expense of Carrie.

Wow!  What an emotional ride.  This book is excellent and you really feel for these characters.  It is truly heartbreaking what these people had to endure with the collapse of the dollar and government take over.  The expectations that are placed on Carrie, at the expense of her own happiness, was unfair at times.  Carrie is an amazing example of strength, endurance, and kindness.  She takes the heat for something huge and it made me appreciate her character even more.  She wants what is best for her family and clan, but I was glad when she started sticking up for herself.  Greg was an interesting character.  I didn't know what to think of him at first.  He was a mystery, but later, I realized that was what I liked most about him.  His past is full of tragedy, like everyone else's, but I respected that he was a thinker and tries to help the clan.  I really enjoyed the POV switches.  That must be so challenging to do as an author and Rebecca did it well.  You have to know your characters well and she did.

5 out of 5 stars.  I can't wait for next book!

Author Links


Purchase Links



New giveaway link! Rebecca is giving away a signed paperback copy of the whole series!